Wednesday, March 14, 2012

Graffiti Moon by Cath Crowley

At the completion of Year Twelve examinations, it's the kind of night a teen will never forget: adventure, hooking up, parties, danger, and more. Lucy wants to find the graffiti artist she's been obsessing over. Jazz wants the kind of life-experience that will drive her acting to the next level. Ed and Leo need to find some cash, right now.

This is a 12-hours-long, all-night adventure story - a compression of time where, amazingly, the whole world shifts a bit on its axis: illusions destroyed, futures changed, biases revealed. The chapters alternate between Ed and Lucy, so we get different perspectives on the drama and much of the back-story revealed through their thoughts.

While the premise is much like "Nick & Nora's Infinite Playlist," this one holds up nicely to the comparisons without being a copy-cat. I loved these characters, and would like to see more of their stories.

Thursday, March 8, 2012

People of the Book by Geraldine Brooks

A fictionalized history built around a true-life artifact, this novel illuminates the fantastic journeys of one Jewish manuscript from its creation through several wars and persecutions into modern times.

As the main character, rare books expert Hanna Heath, analyzes and stabilizes the ancient manuscript for exhibit, we the reader are transported through time to discover the stories behind the clues. As Hanna speculates on the science behind each "fingerprint" in the book, we learn the stories she'll never know.

We can never know the full provenance of an inanimate item - Where did it come from? Who touched it? What has it been through?  But the long history of the Sarajevo Haggadah and the persecutions of the Jewish people throughout history offer Brooks a wealth of opportunities to weave an imagined fiction for this novel.

I found it fascinating, educational, and lush with description about places and peoples I'd never before encountered. You'll speculate differently about "things" you encounter in life after reading the secret life of this one object.

Girl Meets Boy edited by Kelly Milner Halls

You could start anywhere here, and you'd be fine - each chapter is a stand-alone short story. But each story also is paired with a he-said/she-said partner that tells a complimentary - and sometimes contradictory - tale.

I loved this book - I consumed it in a sitting. Each story is a gem, and together they deal with the myriad facets of the dating scene. Where each of the stories may take you is an enjoyable surprise - it's hard to predict what's coming, and there are so many tales to be told. Most are about dating and relationships, not so much sticky gooey luuuurrrve.